$100 Laptop Coming Soon

Dennis Faas's picture

Nicholas Negroponte, head of the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC), is expected to start shipping his "$100 laptop" internationally by mid-2007.

Initially, the laptops are expected to cost around $135 when they become available. However, Negroponte expects the price will drop to $100 in 2008, and even as low as $50 by 2010.

OLPC hopes to ship around 100 million laptops world-wide. (Source: pcworld.com) One reason for the low price comes from the elimination of a sales and marketing team, which makes up half the cost of a typical laptop computer, according to Negroponte.

The other reason is the efforts of the ten participating companies, which include Red Hat, Google, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), News Corporation, BrightStar, Marvell Technology Group, Nortel Networks, eBay, and 3M. Quanta Computer, a large notebook manufacturer based in Taiwan, is expected to build the laptops.

Brazil, Thailand, Argentina and Nigeria have already agreed to buy and distribute 1 million laptops starting next year, with three other countries also close to an agreement.

In the US, the OLPC is working on distributing laptops to schoolchildren in Massachusetts (Source: cnet.com)

OLPC: Under the Hood

The two-pound laptops will run a version of the Linux operating system. The laptop will have a 500 Megahertz AMD processor, and will be sealed to prevent damage from dust and water. It will also have three USB ports and will be designed to run on only 2 watts of power. The LCD screen, which is 7 by 4 inches, will be readable under direct sunlight. (Source: pcworld.com)

Microsoft and Intel have criticized the practicality of the OLPC, mainly because the laptops do not have a built-in hard disk. Nonetheless, Negroponte remarks, "Kids have an unselfconscious curiosity and ability to adapt."

His experience of bringing 50 laptop computers to a rural school he founded in Cambodia backup his assertion. "The first English word those kids learned was Google, because that's where they were spending all their time," he says. (Source: pcworld.com)

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